Perhaps one of the most famous breeds worldwide, the Dachshund, or as the nickname goes ‘sausage dog’, is known for its elongated body and tiny, fast-moving legs. Even though their small stature may suggest they are docile, the breed has an independent nature and strong mind.
Initially used as hunting dogs, they were bred to be low to ground so they could chase burrowing animals and sniff out their locations. They are scent hounds with an acutely sensitive nose on them which means they’re also brilliant at sniffing out a treat or two – whether you meant them to find the treat or not!
Although the Dachshund is one of the smaller breeds on the spectrum, the breed is especially prone to weight gain that can, if not properly managed, develop into obesity. Much like humans, the key to avoiding weight gain in your dog is through routine exercise and a healthy diet.
Keeping their weight down is not the only reason to keep your Dachshund exercising frequently and eating well. The other key issue for the breed is bone, joint and muscle health. Their short limbs, active behaviour and the unique shape of their vertebrae mean that their low body puts incredible mechanical stress on their spine.
This means it’s even more important that daily exercise is part of their routine so their muscles and joints get a solid workout to prevent future injury. But exercise is only part of the solution – not only for bone and muscle health, but also for weight control.
Research has found that a diet high in protein will help satisfy your Dachshund’s appetite and make them less likely to overeat in between meals. It will also help maintain muscle mass. On top of this, a diet with appropriate levels of calcium and phosphorus and added glucosamine and chondroitin can help make sure their bones stay healthy and their joints are well looked after.
Most importantly, your Dachshund’s diet should have the right combination of nutritional support for their unique needs. This is why it’s worth considering putting your Dachshund on a breed-specific food that caters specifically to their unique bodies and sensitivities.